The water along Puget Sound shores rises and falls, pulled by the gravitational forces of the moon and sun. A daily cycle along the Sound generally includes two unequal high tides and two unequal low tides.
Twice each day, the shore along Puget Sound is either underwater or open to air, rain, or the scorching sun. Beaches are composed of zones depending on the length of time they are underwater or exposed to air.
Tidal Zones & Habitats
Be Aware of Tides
The shape of the Sound affects the tide as it moves through channels and inlets. In the Straight of Juan De Fuca, a 7.2 foot tide at Cape Flattery will reach Port Townsend 3 hours and forty minutes later and increase in magnitude to 7.9 feet. The tide will reach south Puget Sound 1 hour later and increase to 13.5 feet by the time the tide reaches Olympia. Extreme high tides of 18 feet have been recorded in Olympia.
Tides Create Currents
In Puget Sound, the tide rushes through narrow channels and around islands creating rapids and eddies like a whitewater river. It is important for boaters and beach explorers to know what the tide is doing. Some waters are not navigable at low tide. Some beaches may also be hazardous.
www.saltwatertides.com. One of the best online tide calculation sites -- and it prints out easy to read tide tables.
Tidal Heights in Washington, British Columbia, & California. Tides predicted by Xtide, a program used to calculate the tides.
Tides & Currents Education, NOAA. What makes the tides, tide predicting machines, and currents.
National Weather Service, NOAA. Weather warnings, forecasts, current conditions, marine forecasts, and weather records.
Comments? E-mail: Shellyne Grisham